Pakistan and Kazakhstan on Tuesday agreed to enhance the trade and economic ties for promoting the concept of regional connectivity and economic integration in the region. Kazakhstan Ambassador Yerzhan Kistafin called on the Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan to discuss bilateral economic cooperation in the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Both sides exchanged views on bilateral relations and discussed key regional issues, said a press release issued here. The Minister expressed that the friendship between the two sides was enduring and based on the principles of mutual respect, regional peace and economic integration. The Minister for Economic Affairs expressed that regional cooperation and economic integration were effective ways to unleash economic opportunities. He further highlighted that there was huge potential for enhancing bilateral trade and investment between the two countries. He particularly emphasized the importance of regional connectivity and Pakistan’s pivotal position in providing the shortest access between the land-locked Central Asian States and the Arabian Sea. The Minister highlighted that Pakistan would be a regional hub for transit trade and investment opportunism in the near future. He also stressed on establishing direct air linkages between the two countries. Furthermore, they also discussed the other priority areas including agriculture, tourism and media. Ambassador of Kazakhstan in Islamabad, Yerzhan Kistafin underlined the excellent diplomatic and economic relations between the two countries. The Ambassador also highlighted the importance of regional integration and connectivity with Central Asia and Pakistan which would help to unleash economic opportunities in the region through enhanced trade, investment and tourism. He highlighted that presently, the level of economic cooperation is much below the potential of both the countries and stressed on enhancing business-to-business contacts through the private sector. The Ambassador of Kazakhstan informed that the President of Kazakhstan has accepted the invitation to visit Pakistan next year. In order to enhance bilateral economic cooperation, he also proposed to hold the next meeting of the Kaz-Pak Inter-governmental Joint Commission on 23rd November, 2021 in Almaty. He apprised that three working groups on economic cooperation, energy and transportation have already been established to prepare the proposals for the upcoming Kaz-Pak Inter-governmental Joint Commission. The Minister for Economic Affairs thanked Kazakhstan Ambassador for his pivotal role in strengthening diplomatic and economic relations. The Minister reiterated the strong commitment of the Government of Pakistan towards further expanding bilateral economic cooperation through enhanced trade, investment, tourism and business-to-business contacts.